An Open Letter to Mt. Rushmore:
Dear Mount Rushmore,
The basic sight of you was far more impressive than I expected. Other symbolic American monuments (ahem, cough, the Golden Gate Bridge) look exactly the same in pictures as they do in person. Oh, but you Mount Rushmore, you’re more special than that. The heads carved in your granite are really quite special. In person I noticed your details: Roosevelt’s eyeglasses, the texture of Lincoln’s beard, Washington’s eyes. And yes, the size of the monument was truly impressive.
But, Mount Rushmore, I have one issue with you that I must make public. We can phrase it as a multiple choice question:
1. Which one of these is not like the others?
a. George Washington
b. Abraham Lincoln
c. Thomas Jefferson
d. Teddy Roosevelt
George Washington, clearly an American hero as he lead the Continental Army and was the first President. Abraham Lincoln, an obvious choice as he lead the United States through the Civil War, made fantastic speeches, and signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Thomas Jefferson, certainly belongs with the above, the writer of the Declaration of Independence definitely deserves a spot on America’s monuments. But Roosevelt? Really… Roosevelt? Mount Rushmore, what were you thinking when you put him up there? Are the Panama Canal and the National Parks system really as important as the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation? Sure, Roosevelt was a strong President, I don’t doubt that. But did he really change and influence America as much as Washington, Lincoln, or Jefferson? I personally am quite doubtful.
Mount Rushmore, I think you could have made a better choice. The monument would have been just fine with only three American Presidents. I won’t advise you to take out Roosevelt and replace him with another President (although it would be interesting to have Barack up there). But I’m just saying- next time- my advice to you is to consider more carefully. Thank you for your consideration.